Content marketing is no longer just a buzzword in the digital industry. Today, it is one of the most popularly used marketing tactic followed by all kinds of businesses. But there are only some of them that have been able to leverage from it effectively.

Only 42% of B2B marketers say that they’re effective at content marketing.
(CMI)

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But as businesses and marketers strive to make their strategies better, there are a number of ‘tips and tricks’ that have been doing rounds on the internet. In fact, some of them have even become so viral, that marketers – irrespective of the resources available to them, are trying to follow it to the T!

Here are top 6 content marketing tips that we have been hearing for a while and don’t think should be followed blindly:

1. Create and publish as much content as possible

First, while addressing the hyper informed generation of today, quality is far more important than the quantity. If you focus on creating content that is interesting and informative in nature, rather than just full of industry specific keywords, you have a higher chance of ranking higher in the search results.

Secondly, too much content will only overwhelm your target audience – be it the subscribers of your blog or your social media followers. But if you do want to focus on quantity, ensure that each piece guarantees quality.

Here’s what you need to follow instead:

  • Creating relevant, informative and holistic content.
  • Include only keywords that are contextual to the piece of content.
  • Maintain a consistent publishing schedule that gives your audience time to consume the content.
  • Ensure that the reading experience for a mobile user is as seamless as that on the desktop.

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Maintain a consistent flow of high quality and valuable content. If that means publishing content pieces only once a week, that works too! Because the more reliable a source of information you become for your target audience, the more exposure your content gets from their circles.

2. You should be on every social platform

Yes, being present on social media is extremely important today. But businesses need to understand that their presence on every new platform that comes up, isn’t necessary. For example, while B2B industries would benefit from Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, they’re most likely to only lose out on resources while trying Instagram or Snapchat.

Whenever there is a new platform in the digital world, you would hear a few industry experts giving tips on how to make the most of them. But they don’t really tell you a way to gauge which one needs your immediate attention and which one would be a complete waste of resources.

Here’s how to know which platform is for you:

  • Clearly define your objectives.
  • Identify your ideal customer and understand which platforms he uses the most.
  • Analyse if your content is ideal for the kind of conversations they are engaging in on those platforms.
  • Identify the type of content your target audience requires to convert.
  • Shortlist only those platforms that you have sufficient resources for to be active on.

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3. Take inspiration from your competitor’s content strategy

Competitor analysis plays a big part in framing the marketing strategy for a business. But when most influencers ask you to take inspiration from a competitor’s strategy, they forget telling you that it isn’t replicable.

When it comes to content marketing, there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach – there are no set number of blogs required per week, no set number of length they need to be and absolutely no set number of marketing techniques for them.

To find out what works for you, you need to start with your own data points and competitor analysis of what’s already in the market and where you can be the first to contribute. You need to constantly test various tactics and monitor your analytics closely to keep adapting your content marketing strategy for better results.

4. Video content is everything

Visual content is processed 60,000 times faster by the human brain than textual content. That’s exactly why businesses have been using images, gifs and short videos to promote their value propositions via different digital channels.

While the advice is kind of right and keeps up with what’s trending in the digital industry now, it is mostly uttered without taking into consideration the goals of the business and who their target audience is. That’s why it gets a place in our list of worst advices!

Yes, video content is valuable today. But it is not necessary for everyone. Here are a few things to consider before dabbling into this content type:

  • What are the best ways to convey your story to the target audience?
  • Does your business offer something visually appealing?
  • Do you have products/services that would make for interesting visuals?
  • Are graphics/images along with a description, a better way to present your value proposition?
  • Do you have the resources (team and budgets) for creating video content?

5. Focus content on increasing followers or page views ‘only’

Yes, having an end goal to your content marketing strategy is very important. But if someone advises you to focus on creating content that increases your followers or page views, refrain from following it.

When you create a social media account, you automatically start drawing a few number of followers. And when you start posting some content on them, you start drawing a little bit of engagement as well. But focusing your entire strategy around getting numbers isn’t the best way to market your content. A promoted post on Facebook would fetch you a number of likes but it won’t engage your readers or make them want to interact with you unless it provides some kind of value.

A good content marketing strategy is one that focuses more on providing value to the readers. It is something that engages the reader almost instantly and guides him towards a conversion – be it a subscription, downloading of an ebook or purchasing your product. The idea isn’t just to acquire new customers, but also be able to retain the existing ones by offering them more value.

6. Ensure it is 100% perfect before publishing

Being consistent with content marketing efforts is one thing. But to make sure every content piece churned out is ‘absolutely perfect’ before getting published, doesn’t really make sense to us. Yes, it needs to add value to your readers, but it doesn’t really need to follow ALL the tips stated on the internet.

There is content on the internet that is absolutely imperfect when it comes to crafting it or deciding on a tone. But it does well because in the end because it is either able to provide value to the reader or is simply entertaining. We don’t mean to say you compromise on the quality of the content, but set priorities  based on objectives when producing it.

If you really want to drive engagement (read point no. 5) with your content, it is a good idea to leave some space for the readers to contribute. While a perfectly completed piece will make you a credible source of information, it won’t really be something your audiences engages with actively. So experiment leaving your blog posts open ended or restricting to sharing only some information and leaving the rest for another piece. Those who would be actually interested, would either contribute and complete it for you, or come back when you publish the next piece!

What is the secret to successful content marketing?

Content marketing tactics vary from industry to industry and the kind of market the business wants to target. But a successful strategy would always include well defined customer personas, a completely documented strategy, high quality and consistent content, analytics and reporting, and consistent optimization.

Since there is no set rules for what becomes viral or what is able to bring in traffic effectively, A/B testing should definitely become a part of your strategy. A content marketing strategy that is flexible enough to adapt to the current market trends, is what actually ends up working.

What is the one content marketing advice you read or were given, that had you completely dumbfounded for a while?

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Vanhishikha Bhargava

Content Marketer at Exit Bee. Most of the times found trying to create compelling copies for blogs and digital campaigns, keeping a watch on what's happening on social media or ranting on Twitter. At all other times, not found.

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